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Washington Nationals’ prospect Cole Henry impresses in Instructional League

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Former Seattle pitcher and instructor Justin Lord, slated to be at Single-A Fredericksburg, got a good look at second-draft pick in October …

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[ed. note - “This is the third in a series on pitchers drafted in 2020. Here are the first two 1-2.]

WASHINGTON – Cole Henry, 21, has yet to throw a pitch in a professional game.

But Brad Holman liked what he saw of the 6-foot-4 right-hander while at Instructional League in Florida this fall.

“He was tremendous,” said Holman, the pitching coordinator in player development. “We got him stretched out to where he was throwing a couple of innings” either in intrasquad games or against the Marlins.

An Alabama native, Henry was drafted in the second round this year after he made four starts in 2020 for LSU.

In two years, he pitched in 18 games for the Tigers, with 15 starts.

“His pitchability and instincts on the mound were impressive,” said Holman, who pitched for Seattle in 1993.

“He used the whole zone. He has a three-pitch mix and he controls the running game.”

“There is just not a lot he is going to have to key on as far as improvement. It is just a matter of getting repetition and moving up the ladder.”

Getting to see Henry for the first time was Justin Lord, who joined the Nationals’ system this year after serving as the pitching coach for Single-A Frederick in the Carolina League in the Baltimore system in 2019.

Lord was not part of the alternate camp in Virginia after he was slated to be the high Single-A pitching coach at Fredericksburg of the Carolina League in 2020.

But Lord, a former minor league pitcher, was on hand for instructs in Florida.

“Cole is a big kid with a good arm and can throw three pitches,” Lord said. “A very professional approach.”

Next: First-round pick Cade Cavalli